Small businesses have unique challenges when it comes to employee recruitment. When the team is small, it's even more important that everyone work well together and fit into the business's culture. Also, it's likely that each person needs to have a versatile skillset so they can fulfill a variety of roles.
But because you're a small business owner, you're also busy $mdash; too busy to spend countless hours in your search. Finding and interviewing candidates takes some time no matter what, but a few steps can help make the process more efficient. Here are some ideas to try:
Referrals and Recommendations
Always start here. Talk to your peers, colleagues, and current employees, and ask for recommendations. Send an email to your peers and staff asking if they know anyone who'd be interested in the open positions at your company. Consider incentivizing the request for your employees, so that they earn a bonus when their referral completes a successful probationary period. Some businesses report that internal referrals often have lower turnover and a higher quality of work than candidates hired from other sources.
Also, your colleagues won't put their reputation on the line by recommending someone they don't trust to live up to your expectations. If they do send someone your way, take that recommendation seriously.
Don't make the mistake of only reaching out to your close business friends, either. Ask other members of your professional organizations if they know anyone or if they can recommend a specific employee recruitment source where they've had success finding candidates.
Social Media Employee Recruitment
About 85 percent of organizations use social media for recruiting, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, and the majority of respondents agreed it helped them more quickly fill a variety of open positions.
You might pay to promote a social media post directed towards a specific candidate pool. When you pay for a promoted post, for instance, you may be able to select users within a certain geographic area or who have indicated certain interests on their profiles.
Or, you could simply spread the word online that you're searching for qualified candidates $mdash; anyone who follows your social media profile is likely already interested in your offerings, and may also be highly qualified.
Post job openings to the most relevant social media site(s) for your business, such as Facebook and Twitter for hourly employees and LinkedIn for more of a professional pool, and ask your followers to share or retweet the listings. Join industry-related groups on Facebook or LinkedIn as well.
Industry-Specific Online Job Boards
Industry-specific job boards often reach a larger pool of more targeted candidates than a far-reaching generalist site like CareerBuilder or Indeed.com. They often cost more than a traditional listing, but the price may be worthwhile if it saves you time. For example, sites such as Dice (for technology professionals), Dribbble (for designers), or MediaBistro (for communications, sales and marketing professionals), often have targeted job listings that may provide access to a high caliber of talent in the field you're searching for.
Be sure to spend some time reading the available information and other job postings on these sites to make certain you've got the right target, and that you can craft a job post that will appeal to the people you're aiming for.
University and College Career Development Centers
Similar to industry-specific job boards, college or university career centers provide access to well-educated candidates who have been trained in a specialty. These recruits are best for entry-level work, but they are often highly motivated, willing to learn new skills, and already have long resumes and a list of fresh references. College recruitment fairs are a great way to get face to face with the students and even screen them for positions on the spot.
Hiring a new employee is a time-consuming endeavor, but you can cut down the hours you spend hunting for talent. Be methodical and targeted in your search — when you find the right new employee, it will have been worthwhile.